Sydney bus drivers are threatening to strike unless masks on crowded buses are made compulsory for passengers and social distancing on public transport is strictly enforced.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union New South Wales has written to the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, notifying her of a 48-hour work stoppage next week unless the government enforces rules on health and safety to keep traffic and transportation staff safe.
RTBU Tram and Bus Division Secretary David Babineau said the state government had refused to meet with the union to address the concerns of bus drivers “meaningfully” since the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Bus drivers have been fronting up to work every day during this pandemic, despite great personal risk to themselves and their families, to keep our state moving,” he said on Tuesday.
“We’re calling on the Berejiklian government to put the needs and safety of the travelling public first.
“We need a clear protocol for enforcing safe travelling guidelines that includes compulsory mask-wearing by passengers when there are more passengers than green dots on buses and trams, providing clarity around the enforcement of physical distancing on transport and ditching privatisation plans until this crisis is over.”
The strike is scheduled for Monday and will affect bus operations in Regions 7 , 8 and 9 covering northwest Sydney, the north shore, northern beaches and eastern suburbs.